Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

The Sane Heartland of Afghanistan: a visit to Ghor’s Lal wa Sarjangal district

Kate Clark

Ghor is currently the subject of a series of dispatches by AAN’s Obaid Ali in which he describes the province’s multitudinous problems, not just threats from the Taleban, but also a host of other armed militias, their leaders entangled with the government, fighting each other and predating on the people. The one recurring bright spot […]

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War Intensifies with More Civilian Casualties: the half-yearly UNAMA report

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s six monthly report on how civilians are faring in the war (Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict) shows a reversal in last year’s trend of fewer civilian casualties. Comparing the first half of 2013 with the first half of 2012, a fifth more civilians were killed or injured in the fighting. […]

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The ‘Other Guantanamo’ 6: Afghans still struggling for sovereignty at Bagram

Kate Clark

It is exactly four months since the US military officially handed over its detention facility on Bagram Airbase to the Afghan Ministry of Defence. Whatever agreement was made between the two governments, it has never been made public. However, from speaking to detainees who have been released since the handover, AAN has been able to […]

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Targeted Killing in Takhar: Family of a victim takes UK government to court

Kate Clark

A case of civilian casualties originally researched by AAN has found its way to the High Court in London. A bank worker from rural Takhar, Habib Rahman, who lost five close relatives in a targeting killing during the 2010 Afghan election campaign, is challenging the legality of the alleged involvement of a British civilian police […]

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Who Played Havoc with the Qatar Talks? Five possible scenarios to explain the mess

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

The bizarre turn of events following the opening of the Taleban office in Doha has led many to wonder whether the affair could have been deliberately sabotaged. Was it possible it had just been badly handled? So rapidly did the optimism about potential talks give way to bewilderment at their suspension, and the Taleban’s re-appearance […]

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Winding Down or in for the Long Haul? The emergence of a new US counter-terrorism strategy

Kate Clark

The great behemoth of US counter-terrorism strategy is shifting. President Barack Obama has said he wants to end the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also, ultimately against al-Qaida. Congress has also been making its first attempts to claw back some of the unprecedented powers it gave the president to wage war when, just after […]

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Talking to the Taliban: A British perspective

Kate Clark

The deputy commander of ISAF and most senior British soldier in Afghanistan, General Nick Carter, has told The Guardian that, ‘the west should have tried talking to the Taliban a decade ago, after they had just been toppled from power’. AAN Senior Analyst, Kate Clark, who witnessed many of the events of that time, not […]

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The Taleban in Qatar (2): Biographies – core and constellation (Amended with more details)

Kate Clark

The very public cutting of a red ribbon marking the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar on 18 June 2013 and the videoed raising of their flag allowed the world to see, for the first time in many years, a public face for the clandestine insurgent group. It has also allowed an initial assessment […]

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Freeing the ‘Guantanamo Five’ 2: Kafka in Cuba (first posted: 11-03-2012)

Kate Clark

A possible prisoner exchange – captured US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, for five key members of the Taleban who are held in Guantanamo Bay – is top of the Taleban’s agenda for negotiations, according to their spokesman, Sohail Shaheen, speaking to AP. When this exchange was first mooted in early 2012, it caused outrage among some […]

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Releasing the Guantanamo Five? 1: Biographies of the prisoners (first posted: 09-03-2012)

Kate Clark

Now that the Taleban office in Qatar has been opened, a US-Taleban prisoner exchange is again on the table. It would mean the American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Haqqani-linked, Taleban commander, Mullah Sangin in 2009, being exchanged for four senior and one junior Taleban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay; they include […]

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The Opening of the Taleban Office in Qatar: A propaganda coup and an angry government

Kate Clark

The long awaited Taleban office in Qatar has opened on 18 June 2013 with a press conference in which two spokesmen presented their movement as a government in waiting. With the old Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag behind them, Sohail Shaheen, in English and Mullah Naeem, in Pashto managed to portray an insurgency, whose main […]

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Spring Offensive 2: Civilian casualties

Kate Clark

At least fifteen children have been killed in the war in Afghanistan in the last 36 hours. All were ‘collateral damage’ from insurgent attacks – victims of two IEDs in Laghman and Farah and a suicide bomber’s blast in Paktia. The surge in the insurgency this year has been intense and civilians, generally, are being […]

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